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Study: Juries often get it wrong

Posted: June 20, 2007 3:24 pm

A new Northwestern University study shows that juries in criminal cases are reaching incorrect verdicts. The study, which looked at 271 cases in four areas of Illinois, found that as many as one in eight juries is making the wrong decision – by convicting an innocent person or acquitting a guilty one.

In each case, while the jury deliberated, the judge filled out a questionnaire detailing what his or her verdict would have been had it been a bench trial. The verdicts only matched in 77 percent of cases. The study assumed that judges are at least as likely as a jury to make a correct verdict, leading to the conclusion that juries are only correct 87 percent of the time or less.

The study was conducted by Bruce Spencer, a Northwestern statistics professor, and will be published in the July issue of the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. Spencer said in a statement that it would take a much larger study to truly predict the accuracy of jury verdicts nationwide in all cases.

Read the full report here.



Tags: Illinois

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Chicago Tribune: Unscientific report on eyewitness reforms in Illinois was so flawed it is unreliable

Posted: July 30, 2007 1:13 pm

Social scientists were surprised last year when a non-scientific report from several Illinois police departments challenged the effectiveness of major eyewitness identification reforms taking root nationwide. The Illinois report was used to defeat reform legislation in several states – but a new analysis by some of the nation’s leading social scientists says the Illinois report’s methodology was so flawed that it is unreliable. The Chicago Tribune reports today that a new peer-reviewed psychology article “panned” the Illinois report and called for more research in this field to produce data that is scientifically valid and reliable.

While the debate raged on, a panel of social scientists and experts, including Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman of Princeton University, who had no previous stake in the issue, started a peer review of the study. They analyzed the Illinois pilot program's report, as well as critiques and support of the report, before writing the review, which is being published in the APA's Law and Human Behavior journal.

If the Illinois pilot program had been designed correctly, it would have compared "sequential" lineups, in which a witness is shown a person or photo one at a time, to "simultaneous" lineups, in which potential suspects are shown in a group, but it would have used an administrator who doesn't know who the suspect is in both. That method is called the "double-blind" method.

Comparing group and individual lineups, while at the same time using some administrators who knew suspects and some who didn't, was like comparing "apples to dolphins," said James Doyle, director of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice's Center for Modern Forensic Practice, which coordinated the panel review.

"Just putting the two of them together doesn't make it a scientific review," Doyle said. "You've changed two variables at once. You can't do that."

Read the full article here. (Chicago Tribune, 07/30/07)
Read more about eyewitness identification reforms in our Fix the System section.

Get involved: Watch a video of exoneree Marvin Anderson describing the questionable lineup procedure in his case, and send us your own video clip explaining why eyewitness identification reform matters to you.




Tags: Illinois, Eyewitness Identification, Eyewitness Misidentification

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NY Times calls for recording of interrogations

Posted: January 14, 2008 11:12 am

“What did Martin Tankleff look and sound like when he confessed in 1988 to bludgeoning and slashing his parents to death?” the New York Times asks in a Saturday editorial. “We’ll never know. There is no video or audio recording, just an incomplete narrative, handwritten by detectives, which Mr. Tankleff signed, quickly repudiated, and spent nearly two decades trying to undo.”

DNA exonerations have proven that false confessions happen. In more than 25% of wrongful convictions overturned by DNA testing, a defendant confessed to a crime they didn’t commit. And electronic recording of interrogations prevents false confessions. Recording also aids prosecutors and law enforcement investigations – preserving a true account of an interrogation, allowing officers to focus on questions and not note-taking, and providing a training tool for future interrogations.

Illinois, Alaska and Minnesota – along with more than 500 local jurisdictions – record interrogations in some or most investigations. A bill stalled in the New York legislature last year, and the Times calls for passage of recording legislation this year.

The Tankleff case and the recent high-profile exoneration of Jeffrey Deskovic, who spent 16 years in prison for a rape and murder he confessed to but did not commit, both argue strongly for fixing this glaring flaw in New York’s justice system.

Read the full editorial here. (New York Times, 01/13/08)
Download the Innocence Project’s 2007 report on critical reforms to the New York criminal justice system.

Read more about Marty Tankleff’s case.

Read more about Jeffrey Deskovic’s case
.

Does your state have a law requiring recording of interrogations? Find out in our interactive map.





Tags: Alaska, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Jeff Deskovic, False Confessions, Marty Tankleff

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For some exonerees, the "sentence goes on"

Posted: April 28, 2008 1:11 pm

An article on the front page of today’s Washington Post explores the struggles endured by people cleared of convictions and released from prison but not officially exonerated for years, if ever. At least a dozen people in Illinois have been exonerated by evidence proving their innocence but have not received an official pardon from the governor’s office. Illinois is one of 23 states with a compensation statute, but a pardon is required before compensation can be paid. One woman – Tabitha Pollock – served six years in prison before her conviction was overturned. She applied for a pardon in 2002 and hasn’t heard anything.

When the authorities do not certify innocence, "in effect, the sentence just goes on," said Stephen Saloom, policy director of the Innocence Project. Noting that legislators are recognizing "the lingering problems" of the exonerated after their release.
"A recent trend is not only to compensate at a monetary value per year incarcerated, but also to provide immediate services upon release," said Saloom, who said the project's clients spent an average of 11 years in prison. Advocates say the exonerated need help making the transition back into society, especially finding a job.

It's not enough to let the person out of prison," Saloom said.

Read the full article here. (Washington Post, 04/28/2008)
What’s your state’s stance on exoneree compensation? View our interactive map here.





Tags: Illinois, Marcus Lyons, Exoneree Compensation

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Illinois exonerated waiting for pardons

Posted: June 23, 2008 3:10 pm

DNA exoneree Marlon Pendleton of Chicago is among 1,600 people waiting for a decision from Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on his application for a pardon. Pendleton, who served 10 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit, is seeking to clear his name and collect about $140,000 under the state’s exoneree compensation law.

"They say once you pay your debt to society, it's over," said Pendleton, his voice bristling with anger. "But I didn't even owe a debt to society, and I paid it, and it's not over."
A former federal pardon official said the pardon backlog in Illinois may be the nation’s largest, and a federal district judge ruled recently that Blagojevich must decide on pardon applications “within a reasonable period of time."

Read the full story here. (Chicago Tribune, 06/23/08)





Tags: Illinois, Marlon Pendleton, Exoneree Compensation

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Twelve Years on Death Row

Posted: November 3, 2008 4:00 pm

Today marks the 13th anniversary of Rolando Cruz's exoneration in Illinois. In 1985, he another man, Alejandro Hernandez, were wrongfully convicted of the brutal rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl. The men spent 12 years on death row before DNA testing proved their innocence and led to their release. On February 23, 1983, Jeanine Nicarico disappeared from her Chicago home. The police discovered her body several days after she had gone missing. After months of investigation, Alejandro Hernandez became a suspect, and he directed police to Rolando Cruz in exchange for a reward. The two men incriminated each other in exchange for cash rewards.

Since the police had no physical evidence linking the men to the crime, the case against them was based on the men's alleged statements. Witnesses testified that Cruz and Hernandez seemed to have intimate knowledge of the crime. The most incriminating evidence came from the sheriff's detectives who testified that Cruz had confessed to having "visions" of the murder that closely resembled the details of the crime. Despite no record confirming these visions, it was used as evidence and a jury convicted them.

Cruz’s conviction was overturned on appeal, but he was retried and convicted again. Then, with the help of professors and students at Northwestern University, Cruz was finally able to overturn his conviction and secure DNA testing on sperm cells found near the crime scene. The results proved the men could not have committed the crime, but prosecutors retried Cruz again. On November 3, 1995, Cruz was finally acquitted after his the third trial. Charges against Hernandez were dropped a month later.

If DNA evidence from the crime scene had not been preserved in this case, Cruz and Hernandez may have been executed for a crime neither of them committed.

What’s the evidence preservation law in your state?

Other exoneration anniversaries this week:

David A. Gray, IL, (Served 20 years, Exonerated 1999)

Bruce Dallas Goodman, UT, (Served 19 years, Exonerated 11/3/2004)

Walter Smith, OH, (Served 10 years, Exonerated 11/8/1996)

Bernard Webster, MD, (Served 20 years, Exonerated 2002)



Tags: Illinois, Rolando Cruz

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A Mohammad Ali Fight and a Wrongful Conviction

Posted: November 20, 2008 3:40 pm

Students and attorneys at the Medill Innocence Project and the Center on Wrongful Convictions, both affiliated with Northwestern University, have uncovered evidence that could uncover a 1981 wrongful murder conviction.

Anthony McKinney was convicted of shooting a security guard on Sept. 15, 1978, the night Mohammad Ali defeated Leon Spinks for the heavyweight championship. McKinney was 18 at the time, and says he signed a false confession after police beat him with pipes.

Two witnesses, ages 15 and 18, allegedly told police they had seen McKinney kill the victim, shortly after the 10th round of the Ali fight. But the victim was dead, and the police had been called, before the fight reached the 9th round. Both witnesses have also said that police coerced them to testify against McKinney. Attorneys at McKinney’s trial knew about evidence pointing to other perpetrators, but the jury never heard it.

The journalism students were working on McKinney's case under the direction of David Protess, director of the Medill School of Journalism Innocence Project.
"Anthony's plight is about the most tragic I've ever seen," Protess said. "He not only has been locked up for almost two-thirds of his life for a crime he did not commit, but the actual perpetrators were known right from the start."

Read the full story here. (Chicago Sun-Times, 11/20/08)
Read more about the case at the Medill Innocence Project website.

 



Tags: Illinois, False Confessions, False Confessions

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Sun Times: DNA and the High Cost of Wrongful Convictions

Posted: June 21, 2011 5:50 pm





Tags: Illinois

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Four Chicago Men Cleared After 17 Years

Posted: January 17, 2012 5:00 pm





Tags: Illinois, Harold Richardson, Michael Saunders, Terrill Swift, Vincent Thames

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Four Chicago Men Celebrate Exoneration

Posted: January 18, 2012 12:00 pm





Tags: Illinois, Harold Richardson, Michael Saunders, Terrill Swift, Vincent Thames

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Cook County State's Attorney's Office Opens Conviction Integrity Unit

Posted: February 3, 2012 12:45 pm





Tags: Illinois

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Last of the "Dixmoor Five" to be Released from Prison

Posted: February 9, 2012 1:00 pm





Tags: Illinois

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Illinois Appeals Court Ruling Will Hopefully Hasten Exoneration

Posted: February 16, 2012 5:45 pm





Tags: Illinois

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Illinois Man Freed After Ten Years in Wrongful Conviction Case

Posted: March 7, 2012 12:00 pm





Tags: Illinois

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Kane County Sets Example for Other Illinois Jurisdictions in Handling Wrongful Convictions

Posted: March 21, 2012 2:30 pm





Tags: Illinois

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Science Thursday

Posted: April 5, 2012 5:20 pm





Tags: California, Florida, Illinois, New York

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Chicago Police Officers Contribute Financially to Wrongful Conviction Settlement

Posted: April 18, 2012 4:00 pm





Tags: Illinois

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Rape Conviction Dismissed for Bennie Starks After 20 Years in Prison

Posted: May 15, 2012 12:45 pm





Tags: Illinois, Bennie Starks

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Science Thursday - May 17, 2012

Posted: May 17, 2012 3:40 pm





Tags: North Carolina, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania

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Illinois Man Convicted on Bad Arson Analysis Is Freed

Posted: June 4, 2012 5:50 pm

After almost 25 years in prison and years of legal advocacy by the Exoneration Project at the University of Chicago School of Law, James Kluppelberg was released on May 31. Kluppelberg was convicted and sentenced to life without parole for a 1984 Chicago fire that killed six tenants and destroyed the building. His alleged confession was eventually ordered suppressed after evidence was presented indicating police brutality.
 
Forensic Science Examiner Christine Funk discussed the problems with the forensic testimony on Examiner.com:


Mr. Kluppelberg's conviction appears to be the result of a perfect (and perfectly predictable) storm, a combination of a coerced "confession,” snitch testimony from a man who later admitted he "lied because he was facing his own criminal charges," and "science" that can most gently be described as inaccurate. Francis Burns, a former Chicago Fire Department official, had visited the fire scene as a training exercise. He took no notes, no photos, and filed no report, yet testified at trial in 1990 that the burn patterns indicated it was, indeed, arson.

With higher standards for arson science, come questions about the scientific validity of old arson convictions. Several states have passed resolutions urging the review of questionable arson convictions, including Arizona, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
 
Read the full article.
 
Read more about his case.
 
Read more about how flawed forensics lead to wrongful convictions.



Tags: Illinois

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When Prosecutors Oppose DNA Testing

Posted: June 13, 2012 10:30 am





Tags: Illinois

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Judges Order Lake County to Address Starks' Conviction

Posted: June 21, 2012 6:15 pm

One month after prosecutors in Lake County, Illinois, dismissed rape charges against Bennie Starks, appeals judges ordered prosecutors to address his request to dismiss a battery charge related to the same incident.
 
Starks served 20 years for the 1986 crime and was freed on bond in 2006 when DNA evidence pointed toward his innocence. His attorneys had to file a separate claim for aggravated battery against the woman during the same incident, reported the Chicago Tribune.


Starks and his attorneys argued it made little sense to hold him responsible for battering the woman once he was cleared of raping her.
 

 
One of Starks' lawyers, Innocence Project senior staff attorney Vanessa Potkin, said, "The days of discounting DNA to uphold a conviction are over, and innocence and truth matter."

Based on a finding by the appellate court that the DNA results and evidence debunking the state's bite mark evidence would impact the result at retrial, Starks’ legal team expects that his conviction will be vacated and the charges dismissed when the case returns to the trial court.
 
Read the full article.



Tags: Illinois, Bennie Starks

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Illinois Woman Asks for Clemency in Shaken Baby Syndrome Case

Posted: June 25, 2012 1:45 pm

On Saturday, supporters of Pamela Jacobazzi, convicted of shaking a 10-month-old baby, gathered at the Illinois Capitol to urge the governor to review the case and grant clemency. Three other caregivers who had been falsely accused of child abuse in the area joined Jacobazzi’s attorney in calling for clemency.
 
Jacobazzi, a former daycare worker, was convicted in 1999 of the death of Matthew Czapski, who remained in a coma for over a year before he died. Jacobazzi’s lawyers at the Illinois Innocence Project believe new science around shaken baby syndrome and evidence not presented at her trial point to her innocence. Among the new evidence are details about Czapski’s medical condition that could have caused bleeding in the brain that led to his death. The State Journal-Register reports:


Illinois Innocence Project investigator Bill Clutter said Jacobazzi’s defense attorneys failed to introduce pediatric records from Dr. David Nadelman that would have contradicted testimony of prosecutors who claimed Czapski was a healthy baby.
 
“In fact, the records indicate that the child had persistent fevers, was anemic, and during a deposition after Pam was convicted, Dr. Nadelman acknowledged that he suspected the child had internal bleeding because iron supplements he proscribed had no effect on the anemic blood,” Clutter said.

In addition to clemency, Jacobazzi’s attorneys hope to win a new trial at a hearing in November. Jacobazzi remains behind bars and will be up for parole in 2015.
 
Read the full article.
 
Read more about Jacobazzi’s case and sign a petition requesting clemency.



Tags: Illinois

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Weak DNA Evidence Poses Problems in Court

Posted: July 6, 2012 3:20 pm

Prosecutors implicated Cleveland Barrett, of Chicago, in the sexual assault of a nine-year-old girl by telling the jury that Barrett’s DNA was found on the victim, but what investigators had found was actually much less powerful than what the public has come to expect from DNA evidence. The DNA was not from semen—common in rape cases—rather from cells taken from the girl’s lips. The DNA profile that the analyst was able to extract from the evidence was of little probative value, matching 1 in 4 African Americans, 1 in 8 Hispanics, and 1 in 9 Caucasians—hundreds of thousands of men in the Chicago area alone. 
 
Barrett was acquitted (after spending a year in prison), but experts say that there are numerous other cases across the country in which similarly weak DNA evidence is being presented in court, posing grave risks to the defendants in these cases and to the future of DNA evidence.
 
As Gregory O’Reilly, chief of the forensic science division for the Cook County public defender’s office, said to the Chicago Tribune:

“There’s a terrific power in the phrase ‘DNA match.’ And there’s a great risk that the jury will put great significance on this when it’s not significant at all.


It doesn’t only run the risk of convicting an innocent person or letting bad science into the courtroom, but you’re going to undermine the very power that’s behind DNA in the public consciousness. The meaning of ‘match’ will become so trivialized that you’ll mix powerful science with junk science, powerful evidence with junk evidence. It’s going to lead to a lot of confusion. Because this is DNA.”

Read the full article.
 
Read more about unreliable or improper forensic science.



Tags: Illinois

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Illinois Man Freed After 32 Years

Posted: July 9, 2012 3:30 pm





Tags: Illinois

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Help Bennie Starks Get a Full Exoneration

Posted: August 8, 2012 5:20 pm

By Innocence Project Senior Staff Attorney Vanessa Potkin
 
In May, Bennie Starks was exonerated of a 1986 rape conviction after DNA evidence showed that he could not have been the perpetrator. Yet the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office is fighting efforts to exonerate him of a battery conviction from the same crime. Write the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office and ask them to vacate the battery charge against Bennie Starks.
 
Bennie Starks’ case was one of the first that I took on as an Innocence Project Staff Attorney in 2000. I could never have imagined that we would face such extreme adversity. Just when we thought his quarter-century struggle might be over, prosecutors stunned us again.
 
At a hearing in March, prosecutors agreed to drop the charges on the rape conviction. This summer, however, we were dismayed to learn that the prosecution intends to continue to defend a battery charge from the same incident, even after an appeals court issued a ruling saying that the DNA evidence undermines this conviction as well. The victim, now deceased, testified that she was attacked and raped by the same man. The DNA that proves Bennie’s innocence of the rape, proves that he is innocent of the battery too.
 
The Chicago Tribune quotes Bennie saying that this is “just another stall tactic.” He’s right. Bennie’s case shows the extraordinary power of the prosecution to delay, or deny, justice in a case. I’ve been fighting for justice for Bennie for 12 years, but Bennie’s been fighting even longer. Half of his life has been caught up in this wrongful conviction case. Until he’s vindicated, he remains convicted of a felony that he didn’t commit, meaning that he cannot file for state compensation, get his record expunged or clear his name.
 
Please join me in urging Lake County Prosecutors Office to vacate the battery conviction and allow Bennie to finally be exonerated.
 
Bennie Starks is also represented by Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck and by local attorneys Jed Stone, John Curnyn and Lauren Kaeseberg, a former Cardozo clinic student, and Ron Safer, partner at Schiff Harden LLP, along with Associate Brooke Schaefer.



Tags: Illinois, Bennie Starks

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State Attorney Ignores Science, Impedes Starks' Full Exoneration

Posted: August 17, 2012 2:30 pm

Four months after former Illinois inmate Bennie Starks was exonerated of a rape conviction that DNA evidence proves he did not commit, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office continues to fight efforts to exonerate him of a battery conviction from the same crime. A column by Eric Zorn in today’s Chicago Tribune says 22-year veteran State's Attorney Michael Waller has a penchant for ignoring scientific evidence and is inclined to develop peculiar theories.
 
The victim, now deceased, testified that she was attacked and raped by the same man. Earlier this summer, an appeals court ruled that the DNA evidence undermines Starks’ battery conviction and sent it back to the trial court. Waller didn’t see it that way and petitioned the court for a rehearing.


Prosecutors argued in court that the traces of semen must have come from an earlier sexual partner of the victim and been present due to her "bad hygiene."
 
The problem with this new theory was that the sample was fresh — no more than 30 hours old according to expert trial testimony — and the victim was on record that she hadn't had sex with anyone for at least three days prior to the attack.

Zorn cites other cases in which Waller’s office has exhibited a preference for outlandish theories over solid scientific evidence.

Juan Rivera convicted in the 1992 rape and murder of 11-year-old Holly Stoker in Waukegan. When testing excluded Rivera as the source of DNA found in the victim, prosecutors under Waller argued that the little girl had consensual sex with a never-identified boyfriend prior to the attack.
 
...
 
Jerry Hobbs arrested and held without bond in the 2005 slaying of his daughter Laura, 8, and her friend Krystal Tobias, 9, in a Zion park. In 2007, when DNA testing of semen found in his daughter excluded Hobbs, the Walleristas insisted that Laura must have been playing near where a couple had had sex, gotten semen on her fingers and wiped it on herself.

Read the full column.
 
Write the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office and ask them to vacate the battery charge against Bennie Starks.
 



Tags: Illinois

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Illinois Appellate Court Ruling Favors Starks

Posted: August 29, 2012 3:50 pm

An Illinois appeals court has brought Bennie Starks one step closer to being fully exonerated for a 1986 battery charge by rejecting the Lake County prosecutor’s request for rehearing in his appeal. Earlier this summer, the court remanded Stark’s case back to the trial court to determine whether to grant a new trial on a remaining battery charge after the prosecution dismissed a rape charge stemming from the same incident because of DNA evidence proving his innocence. The prosecution could continue to delay justice for Starks by appealing the decision to the state’s high court.


One of Starks' lawyers, Ronald Safer, said he could not imagine the Supreme Court taking up the matter and allowing prosecutors to try to preserve a conviction for a crime tied to a case that already had collapsed under the weight of DNA evidence.
 

 
Prosecutors "have persisted in avoiding the unavoidable, which is acknowledging that Bennie is innocent of any crime, as the DNA proves," Safer said. "But they are going to be dragged kicking and screaming to the finish line."

According to the Tribune, Starks' is one of four cases in which Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Waller insisted on a man's guilt even after DNA pointed to innocence. Bennie Starks is also represented by the Innocence Project, local attorneys Jed Stone, John Curnyn and Lauren Kaeseberg, a former Cardozo clinic student, and by Associate Brooke Schaefer at Schiff Harden LLP.
 
Read the full article.
 
Join us in calling on Michael Waller for Bennie Starks’ full exoneration.



Tags: Illinois, Bennie Starks

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Chicago Man Freed Today

Posted: August 31, 2012 5:00 pm

Alprentiss Nash, who filed his own pro se motions requesting DNA testing in his 1997 murder conviction will be freed today after testing results excluded him and pointed to another man. The Cook County Conviction Integrity Unit, established by DA Anita Alvarez earlier year, also reviewed the evidence and concluded that they could no longer stand by the conviction. Nash is the first to be cleared and freed through the Unit, though it has over a hundred other cases to consider.
 
  The Chicago Tribune covered the case, focusing on Nash’s diligence in advocating for himself without a lawyer:  


The legal brief Alprentiss Nash wrote in his prison cell was filled with misspellings, grammatical errors, even an ethnic slur.
 
But the convicted murderer still made a cogent point in the court filing: that he deserved DNA testing on a black ski mask worn by the killer and left behind at the murder scene. A Cook County judge rejected the request, but the Illinois Appellate Court, in a unanimous opinion, ordered the testing, marking a rare victory for an inmate essentially acting as his own lawyer. Now that rough-hewn petition, plus the timely assistance of a veteran attorney, will set Nash free.

   
Read the full article.   For more coverage.   For more about the Cook County Conviction Integrity Unit.



Tags: Illinois

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Wrongfully Convicted Nebraska Man Is Compensated after 57 Years

Posted: September 5, 2012 3:20 pm

Eighty-year-old Darrel Parker, who was wrongfully convicted of the 1955 murder of his wife and sentenced to life in prison, was formally declared innocent on Friday and will finally be compensated. Parker was paroled in 1970— after his confession was deemed coerced — and pardoned in 1991, reported the Freemont Tribune.


“You never give up hope, you never give up hope,” an emotional, 80-year-old Parker said at a news conference, flanked by his lawyers and the attorney general. “I tell people, ‘Now, I can die in peace.’”
 
The state had just agreed to stop fighting Parker’s wrongful conviction lawsuit. Instead, Attorney General Jon Bruning apologized, admitted Parker was wrongly convicted and announced the state would pay him $500,000 — the maximum allowed by law.
 
“It became crystal clear that Mr. Parker is innocent,” Bruning said. “This was the most important thing I could do as attorney general, to right this wrong.”

Parker continued to seek a full exoneration upon his release and hoped DNA testing would prove his innocence, but he eventually learned that most of the evidence in his case had disappeared. He remarried, worked for the Illinois Parks Department, and later took a job at a law firm. Although he managed to rebuild his life, Parker waited decades to receive an apology for the injustice. It is only now that the state has admitted Parker’s innocence that he can receive compensation.
 
About one-third of the nearly 300 people exonerated by DNA testing have not been compensated. Without immediate assistance in many states, even exonerees who receive compensation wait an average of three years before funds are awarded.
 
Read the full article.
 
Read about compensation for the wrongfully convicted.
 
National View: 27 States Have Compensation Statutes: Is Yours One?



Tags: Illinois, Exoneree Compensation

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Illinois Men Receive Certificates of Innocence

Posted: September 14, 2012 6:00 pm

This afternoon a Cook County Judge issued Harold Richardson, Michael Saunders and Terrill Swift Certificates of Innocence. Judge Paul Biebel overturned their convictions back in January after DNA evidence recovered from the defendant matched to another man with a history of committing murder and sexual assault. State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez earlier conceded that her office would not be able to retry the Englewood Four but objected to the court issuing certificates of Innocence even though there was overwhelming proof of their innocence.



Tags: Illinois, Harold Richardson, Michael Saunders, Terrill Swift

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Chicago Man to be Set Free After 14 Years in Alford Plea

Posted: October 31, 2012 11:30 am





Tags: Illinois

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Center on Wrongful Convictions Launches First Women's Project

Posted: November 30, 2012 1:20 pm





Tags: Illinois

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Imprisoned Chicago Detective Will Testify in Wrongful Convictions Case

Posted: December 4, 2012 4:45 pm





Tags: Illinois

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Lake County to Examine Claims of Innocence

Posted: December 5, 2012 5:35 pm





Tags: Illinois, Bennie Starks

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Lake County, Illinois Prosecutor Agrees to Drop Charges Against Bennie Starks

Posted: December 7, 2012 2:25 pm





Tags: Illinois, Bennie Starks

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Young People and False Confessions

Posted: December 7, 2012 2:55 pm





Tags: Illinois, Michael Saunders

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Innocence Network Week in Review: December 7, 2012

Posted: December 7, 2012 4:00 pm





Tags: California, Georgia, Illinois

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Recording Interrogations Improves the Criminal Justice System

Posted: December 10, 2012 5:00 pm





Tags: Illinois

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Criticism Mounts for Cook County State's Attorney Following "60 Minutes" Interview

Posted: November 30, -0001





Tags: Illinois

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Criticism Mounts for Cook County State's Attorney Following 60 Minutes Interview

Posted: December 12, 2012 10:00 am





Tags: Illinois

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Innocence Network Week in Review: December 14, 2012

Posted: December 14, 2012 4:40 pm





Tags: North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Innocence Network

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Bennie Starks Exonerated After 25 Year Struggle to Clear His Name

Posted: January 7, 2013 4:20 pm





Tags: Illinois, Bennie Starks

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Chicago to Pay Multimillion Dollar Settlement in Another Burge Case

Posted: January 15, 2013 4:05 pm





Tags: Illinois, Exoneree Compensation

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Cook County Integrity Unit Slow to Justice in False Confession Cases

Posted: February 7, 2013 2:00 pm





Tags: Illinois

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Innocence Network Week in Review: February 8, 2013

Posted: February 8, 2013 4:25 pm





Tags: California, North Carolina, Illinois, Ohio

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Science News - February 22, 2013

Posted: February 22, 2013 11:50 am





Tags: Colorado, Illinois, Science Thursday

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Innocence Network Week in Review: March 29, 2013

Posted: March 29, 2013 3:25 pm





Tags: California, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, Innocence Network

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The Long Road Exonerees Face to Clear Their Records

Posted: May 6, 2013 5:00 pm





Tags: Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, Vincent Moto, Audrey Edmunds

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Illinois Woman Exonerated of Son's Death

Posted: June 18, 2013 3:00 pm





Tags: Illinois

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Murder Charges Dropped for Illinois Man After Two Decades Behind Bars

Posted: June 28, 2013 3:05 pm





Tags: Illinois

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Illinois Judge Orders DNA Testing in Murder Case

Posted: August 7, 2013 4:25 pm





Tags: Illinois

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Illinois Expands Recording of Interrogations

Posted: August 28, 2013 2:30 pm





Tags: Illinois, False Confessions

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Rape Conviction Vacated in Illinois

Posted: September 10, 2013 4:50 pm





Tags: Illinois

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Illinois Woman Denied New Trial in Shaken Baby Syndrome Case

Posted: September 24, 2013 12:30 pm





Tags: Illinois

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A Place of Their Own

Posted: September 24, 2013 3:00 pm





Tags: Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Texas, New York, Jeff Deskovic, Rickie Johnson, Michael Saunders, Damon Thibodeaux, David Wiggins, Exoneree Compensation

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Recent Illinois Exoneree Arrested In Error

Posted: October 29, 2013 12:55 pm





Tags: Illinois

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Chicago Man's Rape Conviction Overturned After 30 Years

Posted: December 11, 2013 3:25 pm





Tags: Illinois

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False Confessions in 2013

Posted: January 3, 2014 3:45 pm





Tags: California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, False Confessions

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Three Certificates of Actual Innocence Issued in Illinois

Posted: January 27, 2014 4:30 pm





Tags: Illinois

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U.S. Court of Appeals Says Prosecutor is not Protected by Immunity

Posted: January 31, 2014 11:50 pm





Tags: Illinois, Government Misconduct

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Wrongful Convictions are a Family Tragedy

Posted: March 18, 2014 2:40 pm





Tags: Illinois, Jonathan Barr, James Harden

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Illinois Woman Released in Shaken Baby Case

Posted: April 25, 2014 5:50 pm





Tags: Illinois

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Perjured Testimony Influences Wrongful Convictions

Posted: April 28, 2014 3:45 pm





Tags: Illinois

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Twenty-Five Years of Freeing the Innocent

Posted: August 14, 2014 5:10 pm





Tags: Illinois, Gary Dotson

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Illinois' DNA Access Law Expanded

Posted: August 19, 2014 4:30 pm





Tags: Illinois, Access to DNA Testing

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Illinois Passes Identification Law

Posted: August 25, 2014 5:35 pm





Tags: Illinois, Eyewitness Identification

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Lake County State's Attorney Reviewing Illinois Man's Guilty Plea

Posted: December 5, 2014 5:38 pm





Tags: Illinois, Guilty Pleas

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